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Waking up in paradise on a tropical island resort with all expenses paid, the thing my son wanted to do more than anything was ride the shuttle bus. Not to anywhere in particular, mind you. He just has an affinity for buses. 

So, even though we could have gone to any number of the resort’s beautiful pools or beaches, this morning, we’re riding the shuttle. We ride the loop between the various resorts three times before I need to do something, anything else. 

We meet up with my husband as he arrives back from his business meeting that morning. After a few days at a crowded resort, my son’s tendency to run from us has started to wear on all of us. I’m pretty sure everyone by now has figured out who we are based on my son’s pressing of the shouting distance. The shouting distance is how far ahead of you you will allow your child to be before shouting at them to stop. It varies based on age and circumstances, but it’s pretty much the distance you can cover briskly walking without having to break into a run. 

We spend some time at the manufactured beach, running in and out of the blue water and white sand before my son has his fill. We head back to the room and order in some pizza. 

My son refuses his nap, so we venture back to the pool. We arrive at precisely the wrong time of day. The place is jammed with people, nary an empty chair to be had anywhere and the only life vests in my son’s size are broken and unsafe. Still, cranky but undaunted, we venture onward, scoring a single chair to place our stuff. 

If the loathing I had for humanity was an issue the previous day, this experience totally blew that away. The douchey drunk dads from the night before were out in force, plastic cups in hand while they “supervised” their monster children. But my son was having fun, so we endured. After a while it was a little much for even him and we retreated back to our room. 

The company that sent us was putting on a night’s entertainment and dinner so we prepared for the inundation of some 2000 people where we’d be expected to show, if we wanted to eat. Even though we arrived on time, the place was already overrun and there were no tables anywhere. The band was way too loud and my son went into shutdown mode. He refused to eat anything but sugar, which I can’t blame him for. We ate what we could and got the heck out of there. Even now as I write this, the band is vibrating through the walls of the hotel room with no end in sight.